2015 seems like a year when the world got a little darker. From terrorism (domestic or international) to racism, there has been an outcry for leaders of all walks of life to stand up for change. Among politicians, our leaders also tend to be celebrities of just about any medium. Once those talented individuals make a worldwide name for themselves, they have the option to use their platform to speak for those who are less fortunate, even creating discussions on problems that plague us, even on American soil.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors is reserved for prominent volunteers who are willing to bring to light the topics that the U.N focuses on. Today, many of our favorite actors, actresses, athletes, and musicians take time to step out of their arenas to visit unfamiliar territory. These people go out to war-torn lands and impoverished nations. They go to second and third world countries who are experiencing lack of education, nutrition, water, and so much more.
These celebrities also raise awareness on issues that are common here whether that is violence against women, global warming and homelessness. Seeing these celebrities going out into the world is very inspiring. They show that they are more than just a representation of a form of success. At the end of the day, they are humans like us. While we are fortunate enough to have access to many essential needs, we have to recognize that there are those who are not as lucky.
Here are The 10 Hottest Goodwill U.N Ambassadors.
10. Selena Gomez
Gomez became a U.N Ambassador in 2009, making her the youngest ambassador to join the ranks. According to the UNICEF website, she advocates for “The world’s most vulnerable children” on behalf of the organization through programs and activities. She has visited impoverished cities like Ghana, where she noticed first hand how children have no access to health care, education or clean water. In 2012, she held a live auction for UNICEF’s Snowflake Ball, raising $2.5 million.
9. Serena Williams
The 2015 Female Athlete of the year always displays drive, determination and passion on and off the tennis court, but she also utilizes that energy to causes that she holds close to her heart. Serena Williams’ major focus is on education. As an international Goodwill Ambassador, she wants to bring quality education to the children of Africa. And soon, she will focus on schools in Asia.
Colombia’s hottest singer is next on our list. The “Hips Don’t Lie” singer is a Goodwill ambassador, helping to promote basic education for today’s youth who are stricken with poverty and exposed to any kind of exploitation. Back in September 2015, she asked all global leaders to help invest in early childhood development. This was in light of new scientific data that showed the impact deprivation of nutrients can have on children who are in poverty.
7. H. M. Queen Rania of Jordan
This woman is way more than just some celebrity. Queen Rania is one of the Arab world’s most powerful female voices. Rania holds many titles representing the United Nations such as Eminent Advocate and High Chancellor of UNGEI (United Nations Girls Education Initiative). Rania uses her position to shed light on the people of Jordan who are at a disadvantage.
6. Maria Sharapova
Winner of the 2004 Wimbledon and 2006 U.S Open, Maria Sharapova was appointed as US Ambassador in 2007. This shows that there is more to her than just beauty and a knack for tennis. She represents the U.N Development Program. For the U.N, Sharapova’s main focus is on poverty and improving devastated areas affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. Helping those who have been impacted by the tragedy hits home for the Russian born star. In 2010, Sharapova donated $250,000 to the expansion of the development program that will give Russian youth an opportunity to play sports and other physical activities around the Chernobyl area.
5. Susan Sarandon
One of Hollywood’s most talented actresses, Susan Sarandon was appointed in 1999 and to this very day she continues to advocate for change. On behalf of UNICEF, she brings awareness to child development and education programs for developing nations. This year, in the wake of the rising Syrian refugee crisis, Sarandon was one of few celebrities to be outspoken about the crisis even going to the shores of Lesvos, Greece to help welcome those who fled their homes.
4. Katy Perry
Pop superstar Katy Perry was appointed as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador in December of 2013. When she is not on stage, her role is to engage with children and adolescents of the world’s vulnerable nations. She sheds light on issues that are affecting them such as neglect, violence, abuse, or conflict. Perry uses her platform to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and challenges them to come up with solutions, empowering our youth to stand up for change.
3. Emma Watson
Selected as a U.N Ambassador in July 2014, Emma Watson has famously used her star power to become one of Hollywood’s leading advocates for gender equality. A Brown University graduate and Harry Potter star made famous the He For She campaign last year, which called for every man and woman to stand up for equal rights across gender lines, including equal pay and defeating gender stereotypes. As part of her role, she has visited Bangladesh, Zambia, and other parts of Africa promoting education for girls.
2. Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman has been known for helping the organization. Becoming an ambassador in January 2006, she focuses on raising awareness on violations of women’s rights, specifically violence against women. Kidman has lent her voice for the initiative “Say No- Unite To End Violence Against Women”, traveling to various places to help eradicate this issue. Today she continues to use her voice to talk to leaders, including lending her ears to survivors of violence to find a solution.
1. Angelina Jolie
Before she married Brad Pitt and created a little U.N of her own, Angelina Jolie was already a successful actress ready to go to the front lines and war-torn countries, raising awareness for those who are less fortunate. Jolie has over 10 years of humanitarian experience. She has held the title Special Envoy of United Nations High Commissioner for refugees since 2012 after having been an U.N Goodwill Ambassador since 2001. Part of her job is to focus on massive displacement due to major crises. She represents the organization and her office through diplomacy and advocacy. You can usually catch her talking to politicians around the world, trying to influencing those who make decisions in regards to global displacement.